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How to Get Free Shutterstock Video Clips: A Step-by-Step Guide

November 18, 2023
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Shutterstock video clips have become a staple for content creators and businesses for several compelling reasons. Here's a detailed look at why you should consider using Shutterstock's extensive video library for your projects:

1. High-Quality Footage

Shutterstock is renowned for its vast collection of high-quality video clips. Whether you need 4K resolution, slow-motion shots, aerial footage, or unique cinematic sequences, Shutterstock has it all. The professional-grade content ensures that your projects will stand out and impress your audience.

2. Diverse Content Categories

Shutterstock covers a broad spectrum of content categories, from nature and travel to business and technology. This diversity enables you to find the perfect clips for virtually any project, ensuring that your visuals align with your content's theme and message.

3. Time Savings

Searching for the right video clips can be a time-consuming process. Shutterstock's efficient search and filter options make it quick and easy to find precisely what you need. This time-saving aspect is invaluable for content creators with tight deadlines.

4. Licensing Flexibility

Shutterstock offers a range of licensing options, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs. Whether you require footage for personal use, commercial projects, or multiple applications, you can find a licensing option that aligns with your requirements.

5. Global Reach

Shutterstock's contributors come from around the world, providing a global perspective and diverse cultural content. This global reach can help you connect with a broader audience and add authenticity to your projects.

6. Consistency and Branding

If you are building a brand or maintaining a consistent style across your content, Shutterstock allows you to find clips that align with your established branding. This ensures that your visual content remains in harmony with your overall message.

7. Extensive Collection of Free Assets

Shutterstock offers free assets that can be incredibly valuable, especially if you are on a budget. These free video clips, images, and music tracks can enhance your projects without incurring any costs.

8. Royalty-Free Licensing

With the right licensing, Shutterstock content can be used without worrying about ongoing royalty payments. This simplifies the budgeting process and allows you to use the content as often as needed without additional expenses.

Considering these advantages, it's evident why Shutterstock video clips are a popular choice among content creators. In the following sections, we'll explore how you can access these valuable assets, including ways to obtain free Shutterstock video clips.

3. Understanding Licensing and Usage

Before you dive into obtaining and using Shutterstock video clips, it's crucial to grasp the concept of licensing and how you can use these assets legally and responsibly. Shutterstock offers various licensing options, each with its own set of terms and restrictions. Here's a comprehensive overview:

1. Standard License

The Standard License is the most common choice for content creators. It allows you to use the video clips for a wide range of purposes, including websites, social media, presentations, and more. It's important to note that the Standard License is intended for personal or business use, not for resale or distribution as a standalone product.

2. Enhanced License

The Enhanced License provides greater flexibility and is suitable for commercial projects that require high visibility and extended reach. With this license, you can use the video clips in merchandise, broadcast, and more extensive distribution, making it ideal for advertising and promotional materials.

3. Editorial License

If your project involves news reporting, documentary filmmaking, or any content where the primary focus is factual or educational, the Editorial License is the right choice. It allows the use of video clips for non-commercial, editorial, or educational purposes, but not for advertising or promotional content.

4. Custom License

Shutterstock also offers Custom Licenses tailored to specific needs. This option provides the most flexibility, as you can negotiate terms and rights directly with the content creator or Shutterstock's licensing team to meet your unique project requirements.

License Restrictions

Understanding licensing restrictions is crucial to avoid legal issues. Common restrictions include:

  • Resale Prohibition: You cannot resell the video clips as standalone products.
  • Trademark or Brand Use: You cannot use the clips in a way that implies endorsement or association with a specific brand or trademark.
  • Illegal or Defamatory Use: You cannot use the clips for illegal, defamatory, or harmful purposes.

Usage Tips

To ensure compliance with licensing terms, consider these tips:

  • Always read and understand the specific terms associated with your chosen license.
  • Attribute the content creator when required by the license terms.
  • Avoid using clips in a way that misrepresents individuals, places, or products depicted in the video.

Licensing Comparison

License TypeAllowed UseProhibited Use
Standard LicensePersonal and business use, websites, presentations.Resale, trademark/brand use, illegal activities.
Enhanced LicenseCommercial use, merchandise, broadcast.Resale, trademark/brand use for unauthorized products.
Editorial LicenseNews, documentaries, educational content.Commercial advertising, resale.

Understanding licensing and usage rights is crucial to make the most of your Shutterstock video clips while staying within legal boundaries. It ensures that you can create stunning content without any legal concerns or copyright issues.

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4. Leveraging Shutterstock Free Trial

Shutterstock offers a fantastic opportunity to access their vast library of video clips through a free trial. This trial period allows you to explore and use premium content without any financial commitment. Here's how you can make the most of the Shutterstock free trial:

1. Sign Up for the Free Trial

Getting started is easy. Simply visit the Shutterstock website and look for the "Free Trial" or "Start Your Free Trial" button. Click on it to initiate the signup process.

2. Account Creation

You will need to create a Shutterstock account if you don't already have one. Provide your email address and set a secure password. Make sure to use a valid email, as you'll need it for account verification and communication.

3. Payment Information

Shutterstock may require you to enter payment information, such as credit card details, during the signup process. Don't worry; you won't be charged during the free trial period. However, if you decide to continue using Shutterstock after the trial ends, your selected plan will be billed according to their pricing.

4. Free Trial Duration

The free trial typically lasts for a specific number of days, often seven days. During this period, you have unlimited access to the Shutterstock library, allowing you to download and use video clips as needed for your projects.

5. Downloading Content

Search for video clips using keywords or filters to find the content that suits your project. Once you've found the desired clip, click the download button. You can download multiple clips during the trial period without additional charges.

6. License Awareness

While the trial allows you to download and use content, remember that the licensing terms still apply. Ensure that you use the content according to the licensing restrictions we discussed earlier in this guide to avoid any legal issues.

7. Canceling the Trial

If you decide that Shutterstock isn't the right fit for your needs and want to avoid any future charges, make sure to cancel the trial before it ends. You can do this by visiting your account settings and following the cancellation process.

Shutterstock Free Trial Details

Free Trial DurationPayment Information RequiredCancellation Process
7 days (typically)Yes (for account verification)Through account settings before trial end.

By leveraging the Shutterstock free trial, you can access premium video content without any upfront costs. This provides an excellent opportunity to enhance your projects and explore the platform's features before making a financial commitment. However, always be mindful of licensing terms and cancellation procedures to ensure a smooth trial experience.

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5. Alternative Ways to Access Free Clips

While the Shutterstock free trial is an excellent way to access premium video clips at no cost for a limited period, there are alternative methods to obtain free Shutterstock video clips, legally and without violating any licensing terms. Here are some effective alternatives:

1. Shutterstock's Free Weekly Downloads

Shutterstock offers a selection of free content every week, including images, video clips, and music tracks. Visit their website regularly to check the weekly freebies and download the available video clips. These assets can be used for personal or commercial projects, as per the terms provided.

2. Shutterstock's Referral Program

Shutterstock's referral program allows you to earn free download credits by referring new customers. When someone signs up for a paid Shutterstock account using your referral link, you can receive credits that can be used to download video clips without spending your own money. Encourage others to join Shutterstock to take advantage of this opportunity.

3. Creative Commons Collection

Shutterstock has a collection of content under the Creative Commons license. This collection includes free-to-use video clips that you can incorporate into your projects without any cost. Ensure that you understand the specific terms of the Creative Commons license, such as attribution requirements, when using these clips.

4. Free Stock Footage Websites

Several websites provide free stock footage from various sources, including Shutterstock contributors. These platforms curate and offer high-quality video clips that you can download and use without any payment or attribution requirements. Some popular free stock footage websites include Pexels, Pixabay, and Videvo.

5. Video Editing Software Trials

Many video editing software packages offer free trials that include access to stock video libraries. During the trial period, you can download and use video clips from Shutterstock and other sources for your video editing projects. While this may not provide a continuous source of free content, it can be useful for specific projects.

Alternative Methods for Free Shutterstock Video Clips

MethodAvailabilityUsage Rights
Shutterstock's Free Weekly DownloadsWeekly selectionAs per the terms provided
Shutterstock's Referral ProgramOngoingCredits earned via referrals
Creative Commons CollectionAvailable on ShutterstockDepends on specific Creative Commons license
Free Stock Footage WebsitesOngoingVaries by website
Video Editing Software TrialsDuring trial periodAs per the software's terms

These alternative methods provide you with access to free Shutterstock video clips for your creative projects. Choose the method that best suits your needs and project requirements, ensuring you follow the usage rights and licensing terms associated with each method.

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6. Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions regarding accessing and using free Shutterstock video clips:

1. Are free Shutterstock video clips of the same quality as paid ones?

Yes, the free video clips provided by Shutterstock, whether through their free weekly downloads or the Creative Commons collection, are of the same high quality as paid clips. You can use them in your projects without compromising on quality.

2. Can I use free video clips for commercial purposes?

It depends on the licensing terms associated with the free content. While some free content can be used for commercial purposes, it's essential to read and understand the specific licensing terms to ensure compliance.

3. How do I find the Creative Commons collection on Shutterstock?

Locating the Creative Commons collection is simple. Visit Shutterstock's website, use their search function, and filter the results by license type. You can select "Creative Commons" to find free-to-use content.

4. Do I need to credit the creator when using free Creative Commons content?

The requirement to provide attribution varies based on the specific Creative Commons license associated with the content. Some licenses require attribution, while others do not. Always check the license terms for each piece of content you intend to use.

5. How can I track my free downloads from Shutterstock's referral program?

You can track your referral program credits in your Shutterstock account. Typically, there's a section that shows your earned credits and their expiration dates. This is where you can keep an eye on your free downloads.

6. Can I use free clips obtained through video editing software trials for commercial projects?

The usage rights for video clips obtained through software trials vary depending on the software provider. Some trials allow the use of their stock content for commercial projects during the trial period, while others may have restrictions. Be sure to review the terms of the specific software trial you are using.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are free Shutterstock video clips of the same quality as paid ones?Yes, free clips are of the same quality.
Can I use free video clips for commercial purposes?Depends on the licensing terms; check specific content licenses.
How do I find the Creative Commons collection on Shutterstock?Filter search results by selecting "Creative Commons" in the license filter.
Do I need to credit the creator when using free Creative Commons content?Attribution requirements vary by the specific Creative Commons license.
How can I track my free downloads from Shutterstock's referral program?You can track credits in your Shutterstock account.
Can I use free clips obtained through video editing software trials for commercial projects?Usage rights vary by the software provider; review their terms.

These frequently asked questions should provide clarity on accessing and using free Shutterstock video clips through various methods. Always consider the specific licensing terms and usage rights to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

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7. Utilizing Shutterstock's Creative Commons Collection

Shutterstock's Creative Commons Collection is a valuable resource for accessing free video clips that you can use in your projects. This collection includes content contributed by creators under specific Creative Commons licenses, granting you certain rights to use the clips. Here's a guide on how to make the most of this collection:

1. Accessing the Creative Commons Collection

Visit the Shutterstock website and use the search function to explore the collection. Filter your results by selecting "Creative Commons" as the license type. This will display the content available under Creative Commons licenses, including free video clips.

2. Understand the License Types

The Creative Commons licenses vary, and it's crucial to understand the specific terms associated with each clip. Common licenses include Attribution (CC BY), Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), and Attribution-NoDerivatives (CC BY-ND). These licenses dictate how you can use the content, whether you need to provide attribution, and if you can modify the material.

3. Check Attribution Requirements

Some Creative Commons licenses require attribution to the creator. If this is the case, you must credit the original content creator when using the video clip. The attribution details are usually provided alongside the clip, and it's essential to follow these guidelines to comply with the license terms.

4. Review Modification Rights

While some Creative Commons licenses allow you to modify the content, others restrict alterations. Review the license details to understand whether you can edit the video clip or if you must use it as-is. This is particularly important if you plan to adapt the clip to suit your project's needs.

5. Utilize the Clips in Your Projects

Once you've selected a video clip from the Creative Commons Collection, you can download and incorporate it into your projects. Ensure that you adhere to the specific license terms, including any attribution requirements, and use the clip in a manner that complies with the license type.

Common Creative Commons License Types

License TypeDescription
CC BY (Attribution)Allows you to use, modify, and distribute the content, provided you give appropriate credit to the creator.
CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike)Allows you to use, modify, and distribute the content, provided you give credit and license your new creations under the same terms.
CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivatives)Allows you to use the content, but you cannot modify it, and you must provide appropriate credit.

Shutterstock's Creative Commons Collection is a valuable source of free video clips that can enhance your projects. By understanding the license terms and adhering to attribution and modification requirements, you can make the most of this resource while respecting the rights of content creators.

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8. Conclusion

In this comprehensive guide, we've explored the various methods to access free Shutterstock video clips and how to use them responsibly and legally. Whether you're a content creator, marketer, or enthusiast, incorporating high-quality video content into your projects can significantly enhance their impact.

We started by understanding the importance of Shutterstock video clips and why they are a popular choice due to their quality, diverse content categories, and licensing flexibility. Knowing why to use them is essential to make the most of these resources.

We delved into the intricacies of licensing and usage rights, emphasizing the significance of adhering to these terms. Understanding the licensing options and restrictions is vital to avoid legal issues and copyright violations.

For those looking to explore free Shutterstock video clips, we provided a step-by-step guide on leveraging the Shutterstock free trial. This method allows you to access premium content without any immediate financial commitment, providing an excellent opportunity to enhance your projects.

We didn't stop there. We also discussed alternative ways to access free clips, from Shutterstock's weekly free downloads to referral programs and external free stock footage websites. These alternatives can provide you with a continuous source of free content for your creative endeavors.

Shutterstock's Creative Commons Collection was another key focus, offering a selection of free content under specific licenses. By understanding the various license types and following attribution and modification requirements, you can make the most of this valuable resource while respecting the rights of content creators.

In conclusion, with the right knowledge and careful attention to licensing terms, you can incorporate stunning visuals into your projects without breaking the bank. Whether you're seeking free video clips for personal or commercial use, this guide has provided you with the tools and information needed to make informed decisions and unleash your creativity. Explore these resources, adhere to licensing terms, and bring your projects to life with high-quality Shutterstock video clips.

9. Additional Tips and Resources

Here are some additional tips and resources to enhance your experience with Shutterstock video clips and improve your creative projects:

  • Learn Video Editing: Enhance your video projects by acquiring video editing skills. There are various software options available, both free and paid, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve.
  • Storytelling Matters: Remember that the quality of your story is as important as the quality of your video clips. Craft compelling narratives to engage your audience effectively.
  • Music and Sound: Don't forget about the audio component of your videos. Consider adding background music and sound effects to enhance the viewing experience. You can find free music tracks on platforms like YouTube Audio Library.
  • Plan and Organize: Plan your video projects thoroughly, from scriptwriting to shot lists. This helps streamline the production process and ensures you get the most out of your video clips.
  • Experiment and Be Creative: Don't be afraid to experiment with different video clips and editing techniques. Creativity often leads to unique and memorable content.
  • Stay Updated: Keep an eye on Shutterstock's updates, as they may introduce new features, freebies, and collections that can benefit your projects.

Additionally, explore other stock footage websites like Pexels, Pixabay, and Videvo for a wider range of free video clips and creative assets. These platforms can complement your Shutterstock resources and provide even more options for your projects.

By applying these tips and making use of additional resources, you can elevate your video content and create compelling, engaging projects that resonate with your audience.

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